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Microsoft’s Windows Phone vice president Joe Belfiore explains why he uses an iPhone …


It’s not the first time that a ‘Twitter for iPhone’ tag has given away the fact that someone is not using the device you might expect them to. Latest casualty of the telltale tag is Joe Belfiore, the Microsoft VP who fronts the Windows Phone project.

When The Verge ran a piece on it, Business Insider noticed that Belfiore used the comments section to share the reasons he is using an iPhone whilst on a 9-month sabbatical.

It’s very important for me to understand products like the iPhone and Android phones, which […] represent the competition for Windows Phone […] On a 9-month leave-of-absence, I have a HUGE AND UNUSUAL opportunity to get to know these products deeply. To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a full ecosystem like Windows, Android, iOS — you have to LIVE IN IT. You have to feel its strengths and weaknesses, be let down, be delighted. And you can’t do that just “playing around” with a device for a couple of days. You have to learn the UI, upload your photos, use cross-device apps and tools… all of it.

Given all this, he says, “it would be crazy not to” use an iPhone while he’s away.

His arguments of course make sense, and we have no doubt that many Apple execs also spend time playing with competitor devices for the very same reasons. But given the PR considerations, we imagine they take rather more care not to be seen doing so …

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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  1. Peer Linder - 7 years ago

    ’cause it is better

  2. 2is1toomany - 7 years ago

    Is he on a 9-month leave because he’s pregnant?

  3. Nine month “Sabbatical”…. more like job hunting.

    With Microsoft giving ALL of Windows Phone’s proprietary features (Cortana, Keyboard, Bing, Office etc..) away for free (with the exception of Office, on iOS and Android, there’s no need to own a Windows Phone. The writing is on the wall/

  4. bwcarey - 7 years ago

    they are almost one and the same, why the surprise

  5. Alan Aurmont - 7 years ago

    It’s very important for me to understand products like iPhone. I have a HUGE AND UNUSUAL opportunity to get to know these products deeply. To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a full ecosystem like iOS, I have to LIVE IN IT. I have to buy a new one every year, usually around September-October. I have to upgrade to a new iOS version every year. Sometimes I even have to beta-test their new iOS with new exciting features. I have to use all the new exciting apps. Sometimes I also have to buy iPad and MacBook. I even have to buy iPhone for my family. They insist on understanding and getting to know these products too, just like me.

    Basically a description of a typical iPhone user.

  6. William D - 7 years ago

    Unbelievable how some people get worked up about such things. It’s logical business sense. I am sure there are hundreds of GM employee driving around in Fords, for example

    • Charlypollo - 7 years ago

      Of course. I design appliances for GE, but in my house I have appliances from other manufacturers (LG, Samsung, Haier, Elica). No need to make a fuss about this. Move on.

      • Avieshek (@avieshek) - 7 years ago

        The fuss was only created by Windows fanboys as his followers. And winows fanboyism at this point, are possibly retards

    • k00k (@k00ksta) - 7 years ago

      I agree completely with you .. I am a Developer, I have an MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone 6 Plus, Nokia Lumia 1520, Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 920, Surface Pro 3, Surface RT, Android Galaxy S4 and S5. I would be worried if he was hell bent and bitter close minded and on a single platform solely to appease the media. For what it is worth the Windows Phone platform is actually very solid and pretty easy to use especially the Live tiles they really do there job well but that’s just my opinion.

      • iphonery - 7 years ago

        I agree. I had a co-worker buy a Nokia phone(against my recommendations) and I help set it up for him. I was actually pleasantly surprised how fluid it felt and the live tiles is like my Apple Watch to my iPhone 5s. He dumped the Nokia 6 months ago since our employer gave him an iPhone for work. He admits he wasted his money on the Nokia once he got his iPhone though.

    • Avieshek (@avieshek) - 7 years ago

      Internet retards defies all explanation

  7. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    Nope. He uses an iPhone for his primary device. He just doesn’t want to admit it.

  8. Avieshek (@avieshek) - 7 years ago

    There are Windows fanboys? The Earth is at a point with too much human population.

  9. RP - 7 years ago

    I agree with him. Anyone in any business has to get out of their bubble and explore their competition. It’s a must.

  10. 3 reasons explain why he’s in charge of the design of Windows phone but use the non-Microsoft devices like iphone:
    First, this period is on his holiday, the use of iphone doesn’t impact huge to the image of Microsoft. He has his own hobbies.
    Second, through the non-Microsoft devices, he want to fully understand, learn from them in order to improve the customer experiences on Windows phone devices
    Third, there is no regulations under the Satya Nadella’s leadership force the employees to use only Microsoft devices, they can use any brands they like.

  11. bellevueboy - 7 years ago

    Is it fair that they call apple and Google “competition”? U enter the market 4years later, are no where on the radar, claim to use their products to understand the ecosystem, exactly what is it that you are trying to look for in the ecosystem that you and the whole team hasn’t figured out in 9 years?

  12. darwiniandude - 7 years ago

    Microsoft is a software company. They make a huge amount of iOS software. iOS is a massive mobile platform, the biggest platform of users who will pay money for software. Many people won’t pay money for software. Windows phone’s market share is almost a rounding error, and this won’t change. Even at the low end, an Android device will always be cheaper, but more importantly have a superior ecosystem.

    Microsoft has to support and understand iOS, to stay relevant. Just as Apple had to make iTunes for Windows otherwise the iPod would have a tiny market share because in the scheme of things hardly anyone used a Mac relative to a PC back then.

  13. windows UI is sucks they try to implant flat design in their product but they doing it badly their flat design is the ugliest in the world this is why im sticking to win7

  14. Christopher Tang - 7 years ago

    Lol, now we know why Microsoft is so eager to put all it’s services on iOS, Joe wanted the Windows Phone experience on his iPhone!


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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